Mold or mildew manifests in your toilet bowl as a black, orangey or green ring that also can spread as streaks down the inside of the bowl. Mold or mildew will also cause the black, orangey or green discoloration that may appear at the end of a showerhead, shower doors or curtains sink drains, bathtubs, tiles and grout. The appearance of this issue is associated with several factors having to do with moisture but is generally not a problem with water quality. Mold or mildew is common where there is moisture. Bathrooms are especially susceptible which include toilet bowls, showerheads, shower doors or curtains, sink drains, bathtubs, tiles and grout.
Most mold or mildew can appear when any water sits for a period of time in the open air. This is why this issue is very common. Well ventilated spaces can prevent mold and mildew and yet that well ventilated space can also carry airborne bacteria that can still result in mold, mildew or pink stains.
Mold or Mildew – How To Get Rid Of It
There are several things you can do to prevent the stains from developing. Drying wet surfaces after use will prevent mold and mildew from growing.
For toilets, we have found over the years from manufacturers, our own personal experience and feedback from many customers that there is a way that takes less than a minute to make this “job” easy. Simply get a good toilet bowl cleaner (some may actually be specific for mold and mildew) and squirt around the bowl from the rim of the toilet and leave it. Upon your return, using a soft brush, apply light pressure against the bowl surface, swish the water around the bowl and flush. Do this before the reappearance of the discoloration and stay ahead of any reappearance. Routine maintenance is the key.
Remember to flush any guest or infrequently used toilets on a daily basis to avoid setting a stain.
Many toilet bowl cleaners are available in spray-on or leave-in formats that effectively clean mold and mildew rings from the toilet bowl with weekly to monthly cleanings. These cleaners dissolve the ring and are rinsed away the next time the toilet is flushed. Chlorine bleach can also remove the black stain left behind by a ring of mold.
For harder to remove stains you can use regular household bleach and a soft bristle cleaning brush to gently scrub the affected area. An old toothbrush or nail brush works great.
Avoid being too aggressive with cleaning solutions or abrasive methods – please exercise caution. Others who recommend the use of stainless steel or wool pads or even pumice stones have given you information contrary to manufacturer warranties. These items will scratch and remove the protective coating, sealant or finish on the toilet which ironically makes them more susceptible to staining, mold or mildew, bacteria growth and mineral deposit rings. Chlorine tablets or any toilet tank cleaners are not recommended. Check with the toilet bowl manufacturer for more information and warranty.
Shower curtains and liners – wash them in hot water with a little bleach. For patterned shower curtains, use color-safe bleach.
Bathtubs, sinks, drains, faucets, showerheads and other surfaces – if you can keep them wiped down and dry, the formation of mold and mildew may be avoided. Use similar cleaning methods as you would to clean the toilet. Do not be aggressive and if you have any special finishes consult with the manufacturer.
Natural surfaces (granite, marble, travertine, etc.), tile and grout can be porous and require a proper sealant and yet aggressive or incorrect cleaning will remove sealant over time. A good and properly applied sealant on marble, travertine, granite and other surfaces, tile and grout will prevent or inhibit any issues. Water should bead up or wipe up easy and not soak in. Resealing should be done as needed or on a schedule based on the material or surface to be sealed depending on manufacturer recommendations and your local conditions and usage.
Again, as with other items, if you can keep surfaces wiped down and dry, the formation of mold and mildew may be avoided. Use similar cleaning methods on mold and mildew as you would to clean the toilet. Do not be aggressive and if you have any special finishes consult with the manufacturer.